By Aggrey Twesigye
Dozens of farmers on Friday stormed the office of the Ntungamo RDC George Bekunda after they were allegedly evicted from their rented piece of land.
The farmers claimed that they had paid money to carry out various farming activities on President Museveni’s farm in Omunkondo, Nyaburiza Parish, Nyarutuntu Sub County but were later restricted from accessing the land.
The farmers said that for the last three years, they have been paying the farm manager Augustine Murangira to till the land but this time, he has stopped them moreover after collecting their money.
“We have been giving him Shs50, 000 to utilize every half acre. When the rain season started, we prepared the land but all of a sudden, we cannot access the land because we are not allowed to go beyond the gate,” James Gumisiriza, one of the affected farmers said.
“Some of us who insisted that it’s our right to access the gardens were beaten. The next day, soldiers were deployed to stop us,” Mr Gumisiriza added.
“They should have hired our labor instead of allowing us to rent the land then dismiss us after clearing it,” Christopher Mubangizi, another farmer said.
Bakunda promised the affected farmers that he would ensure, through dialogue that the money they paid for rent is refunded and their labor is paid for.
Museveni has since 2008 been acquiring pieces of land in Omunkondo Nyaburiza parish. This is part of the land where the family lived before migrating to Nyabushozi, Kiruhura District in 1960s.
Its acquisition has, however, on various occasions sparked conflicts in the area.
Museveni’s farm managers and some family members have been accused of blocking village foot paths and livestock watering points. Some residents also accuse the president for wrongfully acquiring some pieces of land in the area.
Source: www.mknewslink.com a greater western Uganda news website